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No-code vs. low-code – is there a difference?



August 29th, 2019 Software development

Humanity has always had the innate nature to simplify things, from creating pots and cloths to building mobile devices, cars, airplanes, etc. All of these creations simplify and beautify the life of men. Just check and see what the first computer looked like, and compare it to how computers look like today, and you will understand how men have transformed the look and have simplified the use of computers.

The process of programming has also undergone its own fair share of changes. From traditional software development methodologies like Waterfall model to the modern-day Rapid Application Development model, people have brought up ideas to make software development more effective, easy, fast, and cheap. These trends accumulated and gave birth to what we now know as low-code and no-code platforms.

Low-code platforms emerged because developers wanted to reduce the amount of text-based coding used when creating an application. To achieve this, they created tools to build apps using a graphical interface. The term “low-code” was coined by Gartner in 2014, which was a milestone in app development and which brought low-code platforms to the spotlight.

What is low-code development?

Just from the name, you can deduce the definition of low-code development. It is the process of building software using a graphical user interface, significantly reducing the amount of text-based coding and coding knowledge requirements.

The coming of low-code development platforms brought lots of excitement. Citizen developers and business users were able to create programs using graphical interfaces and pre-built modules. This was great news for companies. They did not have to wait for ages for working solutions from their internal IT departments or third-party software developing companies. Using a low-code platform, entrepreneurs could create applications directly by connecting pre-built modules. Actual coding skills were only needed when what they wanted to implement was not included in the pre-built modules. It was a better option than the traditional method of software development because entrepreneurs knew the challenges their business was facing and which solutions to implement in the app.

People were still not satisfied; the innate thirst for simplicity was not yet quenched. There was still a section of the population that found it difficult to use low-code platforms. There were still some lingering questions, like what about people who had no programming skills at all? These curiosities and questions gave birth to what we now know as “no-code development.”

What is no-code development?

Yes, the name says it all. Users do not need any prerequisite knowledge of programming. On the no-code development platforms, you can build apps with zero coding skills. These platforms allow users to create applications using only graphical user interfaces (Visual programming). You do not need to worry about writing code or code libraries.

No-code platforms are the pinnacle of software development that humanity has reached. We are still waiting for great minds to push us even further to another level. So, what sets low-code and no-code platforms apart from other development platforms?

No-code and low-code similarities

One of the differentiating factors that set these models apart from the other development platforms is the use of a graphical user interface for building apps. Low-code and no-code platforms usually include pre-built templates as a base to build apps using the drag-and-drop of blocks to add features.

Some other things that differentiate them from the other development models are the ease of use and the speed of building apps. In this age of digital transformation, businesses are in a race to outsmart their competitors. Therefore, they need to develop and launch apps quickly and efficiently. These platforms were created mainly to serve the needs of non-professional developers and they are a perfect fit for small and medium-sized businesses.

Clearly, from the names, we can see that “low-code and no-code” are different. The difference is not subtle per se, but not enough for us to overlook it. So, to sum up, what are the differences between low code and no-code?

No-code vs. low-code

We can compare these two platforms using the maths logic of squares and rectangles; all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares. Here, no-code platforms are squares, and low-code platforms are rectangles. This logic means that no-code platforms are a subset of low-code platforms.

Low-code No-code
Primarily used by citizen developers and business users. Mostly used by business users.
Its main purpose is to improve the speed of app development. Build for ease of use.
Text-based coding may be present. Text-based coding is completely absent.
It is possible to build the app from scratch. Apps are usually created using pre-built templates.
It is possible to move between platforms. Usually locked to one platform.
They are next-gen RAD tools for skilled developers. It is a self-service platform for business users.
It can be used to create complex apps. It is effective in creating simple apps.

Low-code and no-code platforms will help your company to build and deploy apps rapidly to keep you ahead of the pack. Many factors should be considered when choosing a low-code or no-code platform for your app development, such as the number of people that will use the app, budget, timeline for deployment, project size, etc. A platform worth considering is the Codejig App Builder. Its ease of use and the ability to implement complex business logic make it one of the best platforms you can use to create an app for your business.